Elderly woman is fifth victim of Arctic weather
THE weather has claimed the lives of two more people -- bringing to five the number killed during the cold snap.
An elderly woman found dead near her home yesterday is thought to have fallen in icy conditions. Meanwhile, a man who managed to climb out of his van after it crashed into a bridge fell 60ft to his death as he tried to get to safety in the snow.
Catherine Ita Curtis (75) was discovered close to her home at Birmingham Road, Tuam, Co Galway, shortly before lunchtime. Initial investigations by gardai reveal that her death may have been weather-related.
Stephen Nolan (28) was killed just yards from his home in Kilcoltrim, Borris, Co Carlow. He crashed into the barrier of the bridge at Kilcoltrim in the early hours of Monday morning.
He tried to reverse from the bridge but was unable to do so.
Mr Nolan then stepped out of the van but plunged 60ft into a field. Passers-by saw his vehicle and stopped but did not realise that the driver's body was below the bridge.
When the alarm was raised hours later, Mr Nolan's body was discovered and removed to Waterford Regional Hospital.
Locals said the road was icy at the time of the incident. They had also complained of fog earlier that day.
Mr Nolan is survived by his girlfriend Clare and parents Paschal and Ann, brother David and sister Margaret.
Local councillor Tom Kinsella said Mr Nolan was well known in the area and "very involved" in the Garyhill Soccer Club.
"His father is the local plumber and he worked with him. Everyone is numbed by the tragedy," he said.
On Saturday, the body of Mayo farmer Peter Irwin (85) was found dead just yards from his home in Derryhillagh in Kilmurry, a rural area near Ballina.
Last week, the body of Tom Connolly (78) was found at the footpath leading to his house in the Lui na Greine housing estate in Claremorris, Co Mayo.
In the same week, Donal O'Connell (81), from Doona in Milford, Co Cork, died from suspected hypothermia after falling in a field at Corrough, near Charleville.
Gardai believe he may have attempted to turn his car in a field when it got stuck.